It is that time of the year when all your diet plans are set aside and the hunger games begin. Nine days of lip-smacking delicacies that will finally tame your food demons. And the city certainly has a lot to offer the serious seeker with a pujo appetite.
There’s always a legend in every business and the Bangalee Association in the city is one of the oldest groups and is celebrating its 70th year in Ulsooru. Dattatreya Ghosh, a member of the association, says, “We can’t say the word ‘Namma Bengaluru’ without the word ‘Bengal.’ This year’s pujo is going to be grand we will have four stalls at the premises for now. But we have plans of expanding it to the street as well. We are awaiting the permission from the BBMP for this. The food stalls will include an array of tasty Bangali dishes, including the spicy gravy Kosha Mangsho with juicy pieces of tender mutton; Koraishutir kochuri, a deep-fried, puffed bread, stuffed with a filling of mildly spiced green peas; and a lot of other delicious dishes. The prices range from `30 to 300.”
Next on the list is the pandal organised by the Barsha Bengali Association in HSR Layout. Arindam Bhattacharjee, a member of the organising committee, says, “The best part of pandals is the food and we ensure it is at its best. We have six food stalls spread across the location, serving everything from authentic sweets like sandesh made of maida and milk products which will just melt on your tongue, to the classic biryani, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. We also have the classic chicken kabiraj (chicken coated with a mixture of egg and breadcrumbs), and also egg rolls, chicken rolls, fish cutlet and others. The prices range from `25 to `250.”
Third on the list is the pandal organised by the Socio- Cultural Association in Indiranagar. Subhajyoti Banerjee from the association shares a few of the highlights of the pandal. He says, “There is no festival without food and it indeed plays a major role in every Bangali gathering. We have gone all out and have organised over 20 to 22 stalls of delicious food and every stall offers something different. These stalls also include separate vegetarian stalls with vegetarian pulao and other dishes. The non-vegetarian stalls are packed with dishes like luchi or puris made of maida clubbed with the perfect combination of the spicy alurdom, authentic fish fry, shorshe ilish (hilsa fish cooked in mustard gravy), chicken kosha, rolls, mughlai parothas and a lot more. Prices will be between `30 and ` 200.”
The last but not least is the pandal by the East Bangalore Cultural Association that is organised in Kadugodi. Arijit Dalal, the Joint Cultural Secretary at EBCA, shares what you can expect at this pandal. He says, “While a Mumbaikar could bite through the legendary Vada pao or Pao bhaji, a Lucknowite could hark back to flavours of home through the famous Awadhi biryani. Authentic Bengali cuisine like kosha mangsho will be competing with moghlai parotha. Bengal’s own bashanti pulao with chicken will also be there to sweep you off your feet. You can also try some famous Bangladeshi dishes like Loitta fish chachari and Tangail fried chicken. Prices will range from Rs 30 to Rs 250.”